'beautiful smile' | 

Family say goodbye to ‘little princess’ as cerebral palsy sufferer Aimee (14) laid to rest

The family of Aimee O’Neill Redmond have vowed to “take the pain for their little princess” after she was laid to rest in her native Bunclody
The late Aimee O'Neill Redmond

The late Aimee O'Neill Redmond

Simon BourkeEnniscorthy Guardian

The family of Aimee O’Neill Redmond have vowed to “take the pain for their little princess” after she was laid to rest in her native Bunclody this week. Aimee, who suffered from quadriplegic cerebral palsy, died on Saturday last at the age of 14 and is survived by parents Peter and Lorna and twin sister Faye.

At an emotional service in the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Father Laurence O’Connor expressed his “sincere sympathy” to Aimee’s family and friends and said he could have “very little understanding of their feelings of grief at that this time”.

“Their attachment to Aimee was extraordinary, so the pain and sadness they’re suffering after years of care and sacrifice is difficult to understand. But we are here to support the family in their time of pain and grief,” continued Fr O’Connor.

“They added to her life and her experience of life every time they spoke gently, played music and kissed her, bringing forth her beautiful smile.

"They went through moments of expectancy when doctors tried to improve her quality of life but their hopes were eventually dashed. But her family enriched Aimee’s life and will take consolation from their commitment to her over the years.”

Gifts were then placed at Aimee’s coffin by her loved ones; her aunt Biddy brought Aimee’s favourite teddy bear; one of her nurses Martha, with whom she had a “very strong bond”, brought one of the story books she used to read to Aimee.

Her uncle John placed a CD by the coffin, representing Aimee’s immense love of music, and from her sister Faye came a collage of hands, representing all the hands that loved and cared for Aimee. Her cousin Niall carried a symbol from LauraLynn, the children’s hospice, which was described as Aimee’s “second home”.

From her cousins Rebecca and Jenna came a family tree, while her nurse Genevieve brought a soft blanket. Her aunt Blaithin carried a sign which Aimee and Faye had created in LauraLynn, representing the “unbreakable bond and love they had for one another”, while cousins Callum and Ben carried the bread and wine.

After Somewhere over the Rainbow was played by musicians, family member Martina spoke on behalf of Peter, Lorna and Faye.

She began by thanking the many people who had helped them during Aimee’s life, paying special tribute to the “hospitals, nurses and doctors who helped in any way” and the many children’s foundations who had provided support and solace during Aimee’s 14 and a half years.

“Most of the ambulance crews got to know her, she was friends with nearly all of them, she captured their hearts and amazed and puzzled doctors with her strength and how she fought,” recalled Martina.

“Everyone at Wexford General Hospital, from the doctors to the orderlies, they loved her and treated her like a little princess. At Crumlin Children’s Hospital her surgeon Dr Quinn saved her life when she was just a few days old, we owe him everything, he was our miracle doctor.”

Weighing just three pounds when she was born, Aimee had, according to Martina, been “fighting from the day she was born” and had “fought a hard battle” throughout.

In her last days she got to spend time with her loved ones and Martina said Aimee’s nanny Cathy had created memories during this difficult time which would endure forever.

"Her favourite place to be was in bed at home and we’re glad she got to come back there. With her long eyelashes, precious skin and curly hair, her smile lit up the entire universe,” said Martina.

“Music to her was everything, it was her love. Faye was an amazing sister to her and Aimee loved to listen to her playing; so keep playing Faye she’d be so proud of you. We’ll take the pain for you now, Aimee, love you lots little princess, see you soon.”

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